2008 VW Touareg Preview – Vancouver Auto Show: Well, it’s still the best SUV no one will test drive, an above-average utility vehicle with a forgettable name...the SUV no one can remember. Tou-a-what? Oh yeah. More’s the pity, as well, for the 2008 model comes with a mild refresh to the interior and exterior, some slight added technology, more standard features and a power boost.
What’s Under the Hood
With a recent power upgrade thanks to VW’s 3.6-liter 280-horsepower V6 engine, the Touareg should be able to move its 5,000 lbs.-plus girth around more easily. It should also be able to stop better, thanks to VW’s ABS-plus feature, which adds slippage sensors to the brakes and, according to VW, results in a 20 percent reduction in braking distance on off road surfaces such as gravel. Also new for 2008 is a side curtain rollover sensor.
What We Think
The name matters, especially in an ultra-competitive utility market. As a result, the Touareg is more hurt by the fact that most people can't say its handle correctly than any flaws built into the vehicle. This continues with the 2.0 model.
About Brian Chee Prior to joining Autobytel in the Spring of 2000, Brian Chee spent 15 years as a writer and editor in his native southern California, his work appearing in a wide variety of regional newspapers and online publications. As an editor at Autobytel, Brian has been quoted in numerous regional and national publications, including the Wall St. Journal and InStyle Magazine. He is responsible for writing, editing and planning content for three of the company’s consumer websites: autobytel.com, autoweb.com and carsmart.com. His “beat” includes vehicle reviews, features, news and Auto Show coverage. Brian considers himself a “SoCal” car enthusiast: the kind who grades a car on how it handles today’s urban and suburban reality of daily traffic gridlock, rising fuel prices and fast-paced lifestyles. Brian is an Eagle Scout, a member of the Automotive Press Association, the Motor Press Guild, and the California State University Advisory Board for Internet Writing. Brian holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism.